An empty Puerto. | Rachel Fox


The Soller Valley is full of ‘badge of honour’ cars. Prangs, dents, scratches, you name it most of our cars have got them. This is something to do with living in a town of narrow streets with obstacles on most corners. My own car is over a decade old and I have given up trying to have it undented and resprayed every six months. I have spent so much on the bodywork of this car over the years that I could have bought a new one. Anyway there are times when it hits the garage to be lovingly prepared for its ITV test. An MOT by any other name. Suffice it to say the mechanics and I are on first name terms and they actually take it to the ITV place for me.

This week they returned with bad news as my poor, scratched car had failed the test. I was allowed two weeks to sort the problem and then take it back for a retest. The problem was all to do with the tyres which were in perfect condition. Problem is that the ‘computer says’ tyres have to all be the same with the serial number matching. I am sure it is more than that but in the past two years I have replaced tyres without giving a thought to their serial number. These tyres have proved a problem to get hold of and it is next week before all this will be sorted at great cost including two visits to the ITV station. So I pass on this gem of information in case you are about to change a tyre or two. Make sure they are compatible with what your book of car instructions tells you.

Life in our Valley is slowly doing things it used to. We even had live music at one of the bars in the Puerto Soller last Friday. It was great to see many friends on the socially distanced tables and to make some new ones. The children went back to school for one session this week so that the teachers could actually see their class and the children could see their friends. This was a really happy moment and many were making plans to meet up now that it is allowed.

We are all having a problem with the lack of people around. It is tourists and visitors who fill our beaches in the mornings and the town in the afternoon. Without them the beaches are empty until the locals turn up for their usual 4 pm and early evening spot. Saturday afternoon in Soller square was empty except for a little gathering of us English speakers making a noise in one corner. It is just a bizarre to be so empty. In winter it is the weather that sends everyone scurrying home to cosy in for the afternoon. Never happened before in June and it is very strange.

This week the police tapes should come down all all the children’s playgrounds. No child has been allowed in any of our very few parks and open spaces, to swing or use their scooters or cycles. This is all about to change and I am very glad to see the end of three months of separating our little ones. The evening promenade here is full of waiting till the sun loses a bit of heat and then taking to the open spaces to meet friends and let the children play. This is a huge part of our lives here. This is as important as being able to meet in a restaurant and bar. The restrictions on all the commercial bars and cafes have already been partially lifted and now it is the turn of the children.

Sollerweb has received many comments this week about the fear for Majorca opening its doors to the tourist experiment. My opinion is just that and I can’t really help those in fear. My only comment is that in all decisions made in the pandemic it still is up to individuals to do what they think best for themselves. Self isolation and keeping away from large groups is a choice individuals have to make. I really wish I had an answer and could make all this go away. It has been hard for all and especially hard for some.